Our Power BI Connector (Equator IT) allows you to connect to our API Report Services and import the data into Power BI datasets.

After publishing the reports to the Power BI Service (cloud), you will be able to auto-refresh the data and collaborate with other users to access the latest data.


As of today, our Power BI connector is in a closed Beta, which means we’re still working out some details, but feel confident enough to share it with some of our customers before we make it generally available.


Prerequisites

  • eBECAS API Business Intelligence services enabled (contact us to enable this service for you).
  • eBECAS API Credentials (contact us if you do not have your API credentials).
  • Power BI Desktop for the author(s) of the reports.
  • If you plan to publish and share your reports in the Power BI Service, you need a Microsoft 365 Organisation account.

Set up the Equator IT Connector

This section is only for the author(s) of the reports.

Install the Connector

Before you can use the connector, you need to set it up on the device you plan to use to create the reports with Power BI desktop.

We will provide you with the file EquatorIT.pqx that you need to put on the following path (if it does not exist, you need to create it):  %UserProfile%\Documents\Power BI Desktop\Custom Connectors

Power BI looks into this folder for connectors to load.

Set up Power BI Desktop

By default, Power BI Desktop has a set of security policies enabled that do not let you load third-party extensions unless they are trusted or certified by Microsoft.

Although we highly recommend keeping this validation enabled, you can disable it if you prefer. However, if you want to keep it enabled, you need to do an extra step to let Power BI trust our connector and load it.

Choose the option that works better for you:


Option 1 (Recommended) – Keep the validation of third-party extensions enabled

Note: This option requires that you are the administrator on your device and it might require assistance from your IT team.


If you prefer this option, please let us know, and we will provide you with the thumbprint (a string) of the certificate that we use to sign our connector. You will then need to list the thumbprint in a specific registry value in your device. By doing this, Power BI will be able to verify the connector by matching the registry value and the thumbprint of the certificate on the connector.


Please click here to learn how to set up the registry value required for Power BI to trust our connector.



Option 2 (NOT Recommended): Disable the validation of third-party extensions

To lower the security settings to load third-party extensions without any validation or warnings:

  1. In Power BI Desktop, go to File>Options and Settings>Options
  2. On the navigation panel, click on Security
  3. On the section, Data Extensions, choose the option “(Not Recommended) Allow any extension to load without validation or warning”
  4. Click ok
  5. Restart Power BI




Use the Connector

Follow these steps to start using the connector:

  1. From Power BI Desktop, click on Get Data
  2. Search and select the Source/Connector “Equator IT”
  3. Click on Connect
  4. Enter/Select the settings for the connection (if you are unsure, please contact us).
    • College Code: Enter the code for your institution.
    • Username: Enter the username of a user with access to the eBECAS portal.
    • Region: Select the region where your eBECAS service is provided from.
    • Environment: Select the environment that you want to connect to.
    • API Version: Select the version of the eBECAS API that you want to connect to.
  5. Click OK.
  6. If you have not entered the API key before, you will be prompted to enter the API Key for eBECAS and click on Connect.
  7. The data navigator will open and display the reports/and resources that are available.
  8. Select the reports/resources that you want to import.
  9. Click on “Load” if you want to start working on the reports or on “Transform Data” if you want to transform the data first.

At this point, you have the data ready to start working on the reports.



Set up the Reports Settings

When you import the data using our Power BI connector, you can choose the reporting period for each report.

If you do not choose these settings, the current day will be set as the default reporting period.

  1. Log into eBECAS with a high-privileges user.
  2. Under the Main section on the navigation, click on Utilities > Setup configuration.
  3. On the Setup Configuration window, Click om Setup > Power BI Report Configuration
  4. Select the report that you want to update the period for and click on Modify. Alternatively, you can click on the cells of the report to update.
  5. Enter the ‘From Date’ and ‘To Date’ parameters.

That’s it! Next time that your dataset refreshes in Power BI Desktop or in the Power BI Service, the connector will retrieve the data for the period selected.



Set up the On-Premises Data Gateway

If you intend to publish your reports to the Power BI service (cloud) to share with other users, you most likely want to set up your reports to refresh directly without updating the data manually.  The Power BI Service requires the setup of an on-premises data gateway before you can refresh the dataset using the Service (cloud).

The data gateway should be installed on a computer/server (running Windows) which is online all the time and with a stable internet connection. If the Power BI service cannot reach the data gateway when refreshing the datasets, the refresh will fail.

There are two types of gateways:

  • Personal Mode: Allows one user to connect to sources and can’t be shared with others. This gateway is well-suited to scenarios in which you’re the only person who creates reports, and you don’t need to share any data sources with others.
  • Standard Mode: Allows multiple users to connect to multiple on-premises data sources. This gateway is well-suited to complex scenarios in which multiple people access multiple data sources.

If you are the only author of the Power BI reports, you can use the data gateway (personal mode). Otherwise, you need to use the data gateway (standard mode).

We will explain here how to use the data gateway (personal mode). If you need to set up the data gateway (standard mode), click on this link.

  1. Download and install the personal mode gateway
  2. In the gateway installer, enter the default installation path, accept the terms of use, and then select Install.
  3. Enter the email address for your Microsoft 365 organization account, and then select Sign in.
  4. The gateway is associated with your Microsoft 365 organization account. You manage the gateways from within the Power BI service (cloud).
  5. You’re now signed in to your account.
  6. Click on the ‘Connectors’ item on the sidebar
  7. Choose the path to the folder where you will keep the connector file EquatorIT.pqx.
  8. Enable the ‘Custom Data Connectors’ setting
  9. The connector should display. If it does not, make sure the file is in the folder that you selected and restart the gateway.
  10. You can now close the gateway.




 

Set up the Power BI Service

After you publish your reports to the Power BI Service (cloud), there are few things you need to check to make sure the data can be refreshed by the Power BI service.

Before you start the verification, you need log into the Power BI Service, using an account with permissions to the dataset. Then, you need to go to the Workspace where you published the report to and the to the settings of the dataset that uses the eBECAS connection.

Now you are ready to start the verification.

Verify the connection to the data gateway

  1. Click on the Datasets tab.
  2. Click on the dataset that you want to verify the gateway for.
  3. Expand the section “Gateway Connection’
  4. Make sure that the Gateway is online. If you install the gateway (personal mode), it will only be visible to the user that is logged into the gateway.

Verify the connection credentials

  1. Click on the Datasets tab.
  2. Click on the dataset that you want to verify the gateway for.
  3. Expand the section “Data Source Credentials’
  4. Make sure that there are not any errors with the credentials. If there are any errors, click on ‘Edit Credentials’ and re-enter the credentials.

At this point your dataset is ready to be refreshed on-demand and/or on a schedule basis.




 

Refresh the Datasets in the Power BI Service (Cloud)

You have two options to refresh your datasets from the the Power BI Service (cloud):

On-demand Refresh

You can trigger a manual refresh of the dataset from the Power BI Service. This method is called ‘on-demand’:

  1. From the Workspace where you published the reports to, go to the Datasets section.
  2. Click on the ellipsis icon next to the dataset that you want to refresh.
  3. Click on ‘Refresh Now’ to trigger the refresh of the dataset.

Schedule Refresh

You can schedule a refresh of the dataset so it automatically refreshes the data.

  1. From the Workspace where you published the reports to, go to the Datasets section.
  2. Click on the ellipsis icon next to the dataset that you want to schedule the refresh for.
  3. Click on ‘Settings’. This will take you to the settings of the dataset.
  4. Expand the section ‘Schedule refresh’
  5. Turn on the option ‘Keep your data up to date’
  6. Set up the frequency and times when you want to schedule the refresh of the dataset.
  7. Click on ‘Apply’

View Refresh History

The Power BI Service (cloud) offers a convenient way to see the history of the refresh actions (on-demand and scheduled). You will be able to see the type of refresh, the status and if the refresh failed, a description of the errors.

  1. Go to the dataset settings.
  2. Click on ‘Refresh History’
  3. A window will open with a summary.